Interview with designer JADE POH (JP), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Parallel Portable Battery Case.

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Interview with JADE POH at Sunday 10th of March 2013: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
JP : In present times where the rapid improvement of technology is fast expanding the capabilities of smart phones, consumers can now do much more with their handset anywhere and anytime. Moreover in this fast paced society, the need for maximized productivity is priority amongst everybody hence much is done on a mobile device wherever they are. This results in drastically draining of battery power in a short time due to data-tethering, Bluetooth connectivity, online-streaming, and etc... Therefore, the inevitable need for extra battery power.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
JP : 1.A power bank that can be removed when not in use so as to retain the intended form factor and have minimal increase in weight with a protective case on the phone. 2. Positioning Apple’s Lightning connector in a way that it does not add length to the already elongated iPhone5. The Product ‘Parallel’ is a detachable battery power bank with a separate protective case made specifically to fit the Apple’s iPhone5. Its name is derived from the idea of “to reflect its fitting nature”, It is also able to have a Slide to Lock feature without having to extend any longer than the iPhone5 and thus retaining its intended form factor.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
JP : 3 months including manufacturing refinements.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
JP : Most of the battery power banks currently available in the market are universal in nature and that it supports any devices with a micro USB or Apple’s input connector. They are usually bulky to carry around and is a detachable component which does not compliment the mobile device’s overall intended design and usability. In this case of the product we have developed for Apple’s iPhone5, most major brands have designed it as a battery case whereby the power bank is integrated with the protective case as a single component product. When the iPhone5 is used with such battery case, it adds unnecessary weight and bulkiness when you do not require the extra power. However one does really require that extra power when the device is running out of it. Further adding to that, most battery case designs currently in the market seems not to consider the elongated height of the iPhone5 and designed external battery banks having their connector built at the bottom of the case, it further emphasizes the height of the iphone5 and making it unproportionate. We therefore designed ours (the ‘Parallel’) to be the solution to these issues.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
JP : Targeted customers are the heavy-smartphone users whom maximizes the usage of their iPhone be it for work or for play.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
JP : We kept the height of casing as close as possible to iPhone5's height also to keep it as slim as possible even when the battery pack is hooked on. Yet, not forgetting its aesthetics even when the battery pack is kept aside when not in use.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
JP : The name for this design came up due to the nature of its mounting platform as it has to be parallel to the protective case.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
JP : It will be it's slide to lock feature that mounts the battery pack onto the iPhone5's casing.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
JP : During the development of the Parallel, the thickness of the overall product was the most critical issue of the product. As Apple had reduced the thickness of iPhone, we did not want to add on to it's thickness just by having a huge battery bank attached to it. The design was to keep the battery bank as slim as possible and also detachable when it is not in use. In order for that to happen the slide to lock function was implemented to keep the battery bank and its protective case as 2 different parts, which sets Parallel apart from other battery cases in the market. The Parallel's design not only aims to minimize the thickness of the overall product. It is also designed in such a way that it maintains the same length as the iPhone 5 after putting on the Parallel. Unlike others that are mostly a bottom insert which increases the length to the overall fit. Therefore if it is weighed for it's utility the extra performance versus the minimal increase in thickness and zero increase in length is pleasantly delightful.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
JP : In order to proof that our design speaks of value we've decided to challenge our design by taking part in such competition.